Apple rescinds no-cash policy for iPads

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Date: Friday, May 21st, 2010, 04:31
Category: iPad, News

As much as Apple may make you want to storm the gates of 1 Infinite Loop, blazing pitchforks in hand, the company sometimes listens.

Per KGO-TV, a San Francisco-baed woman who was denied the ability to purchase an iPad with cash managed to push Apple to reverse its policy and rewarded the woman by giving her the hardware for free.

Diane Campbell lives on a fixed income, and saved up money to buy an iPad from an Apple store in San Francisco. But when she attempted to purchase the device with cash, she was denied, based on an Apple policy designed to ensure the product is fairly distributed as the hardware is in short supply.

“Mr. Jobs, give a sister a break, OK?” she told the KGO-TV San Francisco news station. “I’m not going to go sell my iPad.”

After the station featured Campbell’s story, Apple responded. Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, spoke with the newscast to reveal that Apple would no longer continue its credit-only policy.

“It came to our attention that Diane, through your story was very interested in buying an iPad with cash,” Johnson said. “And we made a decision today to change that.”

Apple’s original intent was to make sure that its policy restricting iPad preorders to two per customer was properly enforced. Apple has faced strong demand and limited supply of the iPad since it first launched in the U.S. on April 3rd.

The previous policy has been rescinded and anyone can pay for an iPad with cash, as long as they set up their Apple account at the store. The iPad must first be connected to a PC or Mac with iTunes to be activated regardless.

Apple also sent two employees to Campbell’s home to personally deliver her an iPad, free of charge.

Hulu Plus service for iPad delayed, won’t make May 24th launch

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 06:47
Category: iPad, News

You love Hulu on your Mac.

But you’ll have to wait a little longer for it on the iPad.

Per MediaMemo, sources close to Hulu have cited that Hulu’s new service, dubbed “Hulu Plus” wouldn’t make its anticipated arrival date of May 24th and in fact there was “no way” Hulu Plus would become available next week.

According to the original plan, Hulu plans to charge a monthly subscription for access to Hulu on the iPad through a forthcoming application to be released on the App Store. Hulu executives were initially hopeful that they could release an application potentially alongside the debut of the iPad.

Sources close to the story said Tuesday that it’s likely the service remains in negotiations with content holders. Even with the delays, it’s been reported that the principal partners, including Fox, ABC and NBC have agreed to the basics of the subscription plan, including a US$10-per-month fee for access to “a deeper catalog of broadcast shows plus access to the services like Apple’s iPad.”

“And even if Hulu and all of its partners are seeing eye-to-eye — not a given — getting the rights from various programming partners to sell their shows could be a slog,” Kafka wrote for MediaMemo.

Sources pushing Hulu’s subscription plan behind the scenes did reportedly say that the new service will be “revolutionary.”

One feature that the new Hulu won’t support: HTML5. Last week, the company revealed on its official blog that it doesn’t see HTML5 in its immediate future. The current player on the website is built on Adobe Flash, which is used to stream video, secure content, and handle reporting for advertisers, among many other tasks.

Hulu’s iPad application is expected to be similar to the existing ABC and Netflix streaming players available for download on the App Store. The popular ABC application shows programs like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for free, with ad support. And that free product has apparently caused concern for Hulu and its subscription plans.

Reports have suggested that Hulu will incentivize its subscription plan by offering streaming to Apple’s iPad, as well as by including a “window” where content is available to subscribers before it can be seen for free by the general public. It is said that Hulu’s business partners have pressured the service into subscription plans to “train” viewers that they should pay for online access to content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Next-Gen iPhone to see upped screen resolution, other improvements

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 17th, 2010, 07:19
Category: iPhone, News

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Per DigiTimes, Apple’s next-gen iPhone should see significant display improvements and carry an upped resolution of 960 x 640 pixels.

Despite the appearance of several prototype iPhones in recent weeks, the only confirmation of the higher resolution display has been a qualitative comparison with the current iPhone suggesting that it is the case. DigiTimes’ report today again suggests that the new iPhone will in fact carry a 960 x 640 screen.

The next-generation iPhone’s display will also reportedly adopt fringe-field switching (FFS), a technology that should improve viewing angles and performance in bright sunlight.
By incorporating FFS technology, users should have a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality under in sunlight, Apple is aiming to improve the handset’s e-book reader features and promote its iBooks Store. HTC’s Hero smartphone has already adopted this technology.

The report also notes that the panel on the new iPhone is 33% thinner than in current models, allowing for increased battery size.

In addressing the brains behind the forthcoming iPhone, the report claims that users can expect an ARM Cortex A8 processor, of which the Apple A4 processor used in the iPad and observed in one of the prototypes is an implementation. The report claims, however, that it will also offer 512 MB of RAM.

The iPhone 4G is currently specced as running on the ARM Cortex A8 processor and a 512MB memory module from Samsung Electronics, doubling the memory capacity seen in the iPhone 3GS to take advantage of the multi-tasking capability of the iPhone OS 4.0 platform.

Apple is widely expected to introduce the new iPhone on June 7th at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Hulu confirms, quickly retracts, vow of HTML5 support for iPad

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 14th, 2010, 04:25
Category: iPad, News

Video streaming web site Hulu both posted and quickly retracted a blog post yesterday, the edited form stating that the web site doesn’t see using HTML5 in its immediate future.

Per AppleInsider, Eugene Wei, vice president of product with Hulu, said that his company’s contractual requirements make the transition to HTML5 too difficult. The current player on the website, built with Adobe Flash, does a great deal more than stream video.

“We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs,” Wei wrote. “Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user.”

The statement would seem to finally put to rest lingering rumors that Hulu might convert to HTML5 for an iPad-friendly site. But it does not mean that iPad users will not be able to access Hulu.

The company is still expected to bring its service to the iPad eventually, through software in the App Store much like the ABC and Netflix streaming players. It is believed Hulu on the iPad will be a pay-only service that would require a monthly subscription.

But the existing, popular ABC application shows programs like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for free, with ad support. And that free product has apparently caused concern for Hulu, which is rumored to introduce a US$9.95-per-month subscription plan later this month, on May 24th.

It is believed that Hulu will incentivize its subscription plan with Apple’s iPad, and also offer a “window” where content is available to subscribers, both on computers and the iPad, before it can be seen for free by the general public. Rumors have suggested Hulu’s business partners have pressured the service into subscription plans to “train” viewers that they should pay for online access to content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.6 update released

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Date: Friday, May 14th, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday night, Roxio released version 10.0.7 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

- iPad video export profile now available as device setting for video exports.

- TiVo recordings (US only) can now be exported at 640×480 resolution.

- Resolves issue where text entered may appear outside text field.

- Resolves issue where DVD-Video volume with in name may be handled incorrectly.

- Resolves issue which may cause application to crash.

Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

New fourth-gen iPhone prototype photos emerge, A4 processor seems likely

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2010, 04:48
Category: iPhone, News, Pictures

Right, this may be about the time Steve Jobs totally loses it and unleashes his new eye lasers.

Per Vietnamese web forum Taoviet, a series of photos, including a teardown of the hardware, has been published showing a newer and more refined fourth-generation iPhone prototype than the one obtained by Gizmodo last month. The pictures revealing the marking APL0398, which is also on the A4 processor found inside the iPad. The rest of the markings — 339S0084, K4X2G643GE, and YN6024Z3, are different, but the system-on-a-chip does include an Apple logo.

The new model also lacks the obvious screws visible in the Gizmodo photographs on either side of the Dock Connector, and is designated as being 16 GB rather than simply “XXGB.” The back panel is also shown to be highly reflective, with a large back facing camera and LED flash.

The new model also uses the same micro-SIM as iPad, and the card now inserts into the side of the phone rather than the top end.

A video demonstrates that the device was also turned on, but was not running the iPhone OS. Instead, the screen displayed a graphic of an explosion that read “Inferno.” At the bottom, text can be read that says “Start time: Run Bonfire!,” “Duration: 0,” and “Battery: 3 percent.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Recent support document points to forthcoming iPad Wi-Fi fix

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, 08:24
Category: iPad, News, Software

iPad users who’ve been tormented by Wi-Fi connectivity issues could see a forthcoming fix from Apple in the near future.

Per AppleInsider, a newly updated support document from Apple explicitly states that the iPad maker will issue a software update to address the issues. The document does not, however, provide a timeline for the planned fix.

“A very small number of iPad users have experienced issues with Wi-Fi connectivity,” the document reads. “This article outlines workarounds for these issues. Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update.”

In the interim, Apple offers a number of potential fixes for the issue:

-Verify your Wi-Fi router firmware is up to date

- If your router’s security encryption is WEP, try WPA or WPA2, as WEP can cause intermittent disconnects with the iPad which requires retyping a password.

- Make sure the iPad screen brightness is not at the lowest level.

- Obtain a new IP address by going into Settings, Wi-Fi, accessing the settings of the current network, and choosing “Renew Lease.”

- Finally, if these steps do not work, users are recommended to try turning Wi-Fi off and back on.

If none of the above methods address connectivity issues, users are asked to contact Apple support.

Just days after the iPad launched, AppleInsider noted the Wi-Fi issues reported by numerous users. Problems have occurred with a variety of routers, including Apple’s own AirPort Extreme, and range from a weak signal to an inability to connect to a network.

Apple quickly set up a support document for users who have problems getting their iPad to rejoin known Wi-Fi networks after a restart or waking from sleep. The company said issues were known to occur with some third-party Wi-Fi routers that are dual-band capable. Apple recommended creating separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band, such as adding ‘G’ to the 802.11g network name, and ‘N’ to the 802.11n network. It also recommended using the same security type, such as WPA, for both bands.

The iPad’s Wi-Fi issues were pegged as a software problem by Princeton University last month. The school’s Office of Information Technology reported that a software glitch in the device causes it to use a network-assigned IP address after its lease has expired.

Princeton suggested that the problem comes from within iPhone OS 3.2, as the iPad will incorrectly continue using an IP address without renewing its lease, usually for hours. The issue is resolved when the iPad asks for a new DHCP lease, or the device disconnects from the network. The university found that more than half of all iPads on the campus demonstrated the malfunction.

The university offered the following temporary workaround until Apple issues a software update: reconfigure the iPad’s settings so that the screen never locks. This can be done by going to Settings, General, Auto-Lock and choosing “Never.” Users must also turn off Wi-Fi before they manually lock the screen. Other options were to turn the iPad completely off, rather than just locking it, or to simply leave the iPad on without locking the screen.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Court documents confirm Apple/AT&T exclusive five year deal, questions surface over contract renegotiations

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Date: Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, 05:51
Category: iPhone, News

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With additional chatter surrounding the idea of Apple extending the iPhone to Verizon this year, the exact specifics of Apple’s five-year exclusive contract with AT&T have never really been published. Fortunately, the cool cats at Engadget managed to uncover the following:

An ongoing California class-action lawsuit filed in 2007 claims that Apple and AT&T illegally exerted a monopoly over iPhone service by telling customers the iPhone’s required service contract was two years long when the Apple / AT&T exclusivity deal was actually for five years. Per the case, this required buyers to re-up with AT&T for three years if they wanted to keep using the iPhone. Within Apple’s response to these allegations, and in addition to arguing that no one was ever promised an unlocked iPhone after two years, the company’s lawyers repeatedly confirm the existence of the five-year agreement while noting it was publicly reported in USA Today.

Select quotes include the following:
“The duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not ‘secret’ either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article – published over a month before the iPhone’s release – stating, “AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world.”

“[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years… Moreover, it is sheer speculation – and illogical – that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power…”

Since this case occurred in October of 2008 and has gone relatively off the record, the real question is whether or not the exclusivity deal is still on the books. Even given that the case is ongoing and many of its relevant bits have been under seal since 2009, contracts can be canceled, amended, and breached in many ways, especially given AT&T’s track record and the explosion of the iPhone market. In addition, the two companies obviously hit the negotiating table again to hammer out the iPad’s pricing plans, and there’s no way of knowing whether that deal involves the iPhone as well.

Apple releases iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 to developers, focuses on orientation lock and iPod features

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 5th, 2010, 03:23
Category: iPhone, News, Software

Apple released the third beta of its upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 firmware to developers on Tuesday. The new build, specified as build 10M2247, closely follows the release of beta 2 just two weeks ago. Both last year’s iPhone OS 3 and the 3.2 release for iPad went through five beta cycles before being released publicly.

iPhone 4 is expected to be release to the public in June for iPhone and iPod touch users, with an iPad version due for release in the fall.

Shortly after being published on Apple’s developer site, the new update was pulled temporarily to fix an issue believed to be related to an installation problem according to Gizmodo.

The new beta makes it easier to quit apps running in the multitasking drawer by giving each icon a red quit quit button, similar to the Home screen method of uninstalling apps with a touch.

Also new is a widget controller for iPod music playback, and an orientation lock that works similar to the physical switch on iPad. However, since the iPhone’s user interface is oriented toward portrait by default, with apps supporting landscape only optionally, the lock only sets orientation in portrait.

In contrast, the iPad presents no default orientation, making the lock more important and functional in both landscape and portrait directions.

The beta 3 release still does not support push messaging features for remote location, messaging, lock, or secure wipe as Apple prioritizes its beta releases to be relevant to the issues developers face in testing their apps with the new firmware.

Stay tuned for additional details as they come in and if you’ve had a chance to play with the new beta, let us know.

Dev-Team unlocks iPad 3G, posts hack online

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 3rd, 2010, 07:02
Category: Hack, iPad

You can try to keep people from jailbreaking Apple’s newest devices.

Or you can take up shoveling water for fun and profit.

Neither effort will really get you anywhere.

Per iHackintosh, the iPad 3G was officially jailbroken with video proof released only a few hours after its launch. According the the article, the Dev-Team has released the “Spirit” jailbreak, which allows you to jailbreak all models of iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running the latest firmware versions available.

Also, the authors note that “On iPad, all this is still sort of beta,” and as such if anything goes wrong you might need to restore.



Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.